Thursday, July 26, 2007

Taking the Plunge

Caleb started taking swimming lessons this week. There are several kids in the "Stingray" group (ages 5-7), but they're divided into smaller groups of 3 or 4. Caleb has 2 boys and 1 girl in his group.

Monday was basically spent getting used to the water and putting his head under. To pass "Station 1", he was supposed to do 10 relaxed bobs. His bobs were definitely not relaxed. He would put his head under for a split second, then burst out of the water, trying in vain to wipe the water from his face with wet hands.

Tuesday was better. He went under more times, but still wasn't relaxed about it. Over the course of the 40-minute lesson, he got his 10 bobs in (unrelaxed). When he came to the gate after his lesson, he proudly exclaimed, "I passed Station 1!"

On Wednesday, they practiced a few more bobs, then their coach started working with them on floating. I watched Caleb wrap one arm around his coach's neck while trying to float on his back. (I remember doing that when I was learning to swim...) When lessons were over, he proudly showed me the card he had gotten: "You have graduated into Station 2!"

Today he was much more relaxed when floating on his back. I think he grabbed his coach's neck only once. The other times I saw, his arms were casually alongside his body. I caught a glimpse of him doing the front float, which doesn't last long since he hates putting his face in the water. In order to "graduate" to Station 3, he has to be able to front float and back float for 5 seconds each. He should have that mastered tomorrow or Monday.

Caleb said they're going to wear life jackets and jump into the deep end of the pool tomorrow. He seems excited about it right now, but I'm not sure that will last past putting the actual life jacket on. We got to his lessons early enough one day and were able to watch another group finishing up. He thought it was cool that some older kids were practicing diving into the deep end off the side of the pool. Maybe he'll remember how cool it was and not get too upset about it.

I've been taking pictures of his progress, but it's hard to get good shots through the chain link fence. The coach is usually on the same side of Caleb that I'm on, so I can't get a clear shot anyway. But I'm trying. I'll definitely get some pictures of him jumping into the deep end tomorrow. I'm sure Jacob will like watching that. (I think he'll be ready for swimming lessons in the spring. He's already been saying, "When I'm 5 and I take swimming lessons...")

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